Blizzcon 2013: Blizzard announces one high end difficulty that will only be 20 players: Mythic.
25man guilds everywhere were rejoicing, I was ecstatic. One size for all! A smaller guild means less logistical issues, less headache.
For every person at that convention center that day that was elated at the news, there was an eerie quiet from people that were in 10man raid teams. They weren’t sure what to make of the change. The enormity of the announcement was only beginning to sink in. And at once there was a communal 10man thought of, ‘holy crap, we need to recruit at least 10 more people.’
For TBC the 25man change was announced and I knew it would be good for the game. Running a 40man guild was a nightmare. It was more than a full time job. We ran with roughly 55 players during Vanilla. And managing each person’s schedules, late logon or early logoff times, a modified loot council/dkp tracker for each person, and the eventual personality conflicts in a large active guild would allow you to put your Guild Master position on your resume.
Many guilds thought back then, like many are thinking now, that it is a good opportunity to trim the ‘fat.’ What that means is that many in leadership want to make their roster a bit leaner where every person is pulling their own weight and there isn’t anyone being carried by the other 24 or 19 players.
I firmly believe that simply cutting players is not the way to go. That is to say, for a 20man team, you do not tell five of your raiders that they will no longer be raiding. Yes you need bloat and you wouldn’t have just 20 on your mythic roster anyway (more likely 25).
During the start of every new expansion there is an influx of players and people quitting the game due to natural attrition. People move on with their lives, get older, have kids, realize that WoW is a timesink…. Whatever excuse you want to make up for leaving the game. It happens to every guild. That influx of players or the guildies that are coming back to the game should not be used to battle the natural attrition of your guild. Few of them will actually stick around. They quit for a good reason. Garrisons and lack of flying will not bring them back.
You should go into the next expansion with a decent amount of bloat on your roster. Expect people to hate the game, get bored, and you will also find the ones that are simply not cut out for raiding in WoD. Those are the ones that will cut themselves and make your job as officers and guild leaders much easier.
When determining the size of your mythic roster, consider factors such as your progression goal, your composition, how many days you intend to raid and the chance that people are absent on a given raid night. I’m sure Theck could write a formula for it.
If you’re raiding 2 days a week, your roster can likely be on the smaller side (23) people due to it being easier to set aside two days a week to raid, compared to a heavier schedule of 4 days.
Keep in mind attendance policies, a potential ‘bench.’ Some guilds require 95% attendance, which means you miss at most one raid a month. Smaller rosters also allow you to pool your loot/gear to fewer players, increasing the relative power of your guild.
Undoubtedly the guilds that are going to have the most difficult transition will be the ones going from a 10man heroic to 20 mythic. And to get to that roster size you have to double your playerbase.
Well what easier way to do so than merge with another guild? It’s the quickest method as well as most appealing. You assimilate another guild, give one or two of their officers an officer position in your guild and you’re done! Right?!
Mergers are a bad idea. And that is speaking from watching a majority of guilds fall apart due to merging. While they look appealing and often guilds that merge may see a surge in progress, most of them(not all) are doomed to fail. Why? Well cliques form: while its one guild under one banner, it is still two guilds. The guild members still only play with their previous friends and are hesitant to reach out. This is also one of the reasons that guilds are hesitant to take group apps. Sometimes the members from one of the old guilds don’t like the new raid leader’s style, personalities clash, and people realize the grass is not greener on the other side.
Don’t get me wrong, a merger approached properly can be successful, but it is a tremendous risk when most fail.
So how should you approach recruiting for your 20man roster from a 10man? The same way you formed that 10man. You brought in likeminded people. You made friends and bonded with that small core. It was a tight-knit group. Well build on that, recruit slowly but look for the same quality players you have in your 10man. That way you ensure every player in your guild is on the same page and you avoid those merger troubles.
The downside of this method is that there will come a point where you have 17 or so people on your roster for a 10man team. Your team(and I use this word on purpose) need to realize that everyone will need to sit out on some bosses. And your team, should know that your goal is to have 20+ people on the roster. While you are farming bosses now, or progressing, every player will sit some bosses. But when WoD arrives, they will all be in. If your team can get over this hump until WoD, you’ll have a solid core going into the expansion.
A great tool for looking at your roster is Guild Audit. Simply put in your guild’s information and it will sort your raid roster. It will take a little time playing with it so your entire roster is represented on it. But it is a great tool that currently shows the exact ilvl of your guild and is more accurate than something like WoWprogress. You’re able to track your players progress upgrading their gear(irrelevant in WoD), as well as their enchants and gems.
But use it to determine the balance of your mythic roster. Yes some classes will be incredibly strong, maybe you want to capitalize on that? Thinking about loot breakdowns? Maybe you have too many leather dps, or too many healers.
Here you see an example of the Guild Audit screen.
You see the name, spec rank, ilvl, percentage of upgraded items, and any reg flags. In this screenshot it shows that Prime is missing a gem in his gear. While the armory is buggy, and some of the information will be changing in the coming months, use this tool.
And here you see a more important breakdown of your raid roster.
This will help you maintain a balance of the right heal and dps classes. Maybe you’ll want to stack those warlocks that are so strong each.
Beyond that, ask advice of other guild leaders that have been around for a while, see what they’ve done in the past. Find out what worked and didn’t work for them, learn from their mistakes so you do not repeat them. Grow your guild slowly, steadily and with quality people, and cultivate a positive atmosphere where you expect the best of your mythic raiders.